The National Sport of Sudan is Soccer.
Soccer in Sudan is a beloved pastime, connecting people through their passion and love for the game.
To learn more about sports culture in Sudan, read our article about the most popular sports in Sudan.
Table of Contents
#1 History of Soccer
- 1936: Formation of the Sudan Football Association (SFA).
- 1957: Sudan becomes a founding member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
- 1960s-1970s: Sudanese soccer golden era, with clubs such as Al-Hilal and Al-Merrikh dominating the domestic league and achieving success in continental competitions.
- 1973: Sudan wins its first and only African Cup of Nations championship on home soil.
- 1991: Sudan becomes a member of the FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds.
- 2000s: Rise of youth talent, leading to improved national team performance in African competitions.
#2 Culture and Traditions
Soccer in Sudan is more than just a sport; it is a significant part of the country’s cultural identity. The passion and love for the game can be seen on every street corner, as young and old alike gather to play, watch, and discuss soccer. The sport serves as an essential unifying force in the ethnically diverse nation, transcending cultural differences and fostering a sense of national pride.
Festivals and events revolving around soccer are widespread in Sudan, particularly during major competitions such as the Africa Cup of Nations or the FIFA World Cup. Fans come together to celebrate victories, mourn losses, and share the excitement that embodies the spirit of the game. Public viewings of these events create colorful and vibrant atmospheres where fans can bond over their shared passion for soccer.
In addition to international events, Sudan’s domestic soccer league is a source of immense enthusiasm and support from fans. Local clubs like Al-Hilal and Al-Merrikh boast loyal followings, with intense rivalries between them igniting fervor and excitement, contributing to the country’s rich soccer culture.
#3 How it Works: Rules, Gameplay and Equipment
📕 Rules & Gameplay
- Match Duration: A standard match consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes, with a 15-minute break in between.
- Objective: Each team tries to score by getting the ball into the opposing team’s goal.
- Players: Each team has 11 players, including one goalkeeper.
- Offside: A player is offside if they are nearer to the opponent’s goal than both the ball and the second-last opponent when the ball is played to them.
- Fouls: Direct and indirect free-kicks and penalty kicks are awarded for infringements of the rules.
⚙️ Equipment & Gear
- Ball: Round and made of leather or another suitable material.
- Goalposts: Located at each end of the field, they are 7.32 meters wide and 2.44 meters tall.
- Kits: Teams wear distinguishing kits, with goalkeepers wearing different colors to stand out.
- Shin Guards: Protection for players from potential tackles or hits.
- Boots: Specialized shoes designed for the sport’s requirements.
#4 Modern Development of Soccer
Soccer in Sudan has experience both cultural and technological advancements in recent decades. The sport’s wide accessibility has allowed for the emergence of youth talent, positively impacting the national team’s performance and reputation. At the same time, Sudanese soccer has adopted modern technology like VAR and goal-line systems to ensure fair play and uphold the game’s integrity.
Domestic soccer clubs have also benefitted from the increased attention and financial investment, improving their competitiveness on the African and international stage. Strengthened soccer infrastructure further supports the continued growth and development of the sport in the country.
Moreover, with growing exposure to global soccer, fans in Sudan can follow international leagues like the English Premier League or the UEFA Champions League, broadening their scope of soccer appreciation and knowledge. As Sudanese soccer continues to evolve, the passion and love for the game remain firmly entrenched in the culture and traditions of the nation.
#5 Soccer and the Olympics
Soccer has been a part of the Olympic Games since the early years of the modern Olympic movement, with the men’s competition being introduced in 1900 and the women’s competition in 1996. Although Sudan has not yet sent a soccer team to participate in the Olympic Games, the event plays a significant role in increasing the sport’s global recognition and fostering international competition.
Throughout the years, the Olympic Games have served as a platform for emerging soccer talent to gain experience and exposure on the global stage. It is an opportunity for nations like Sudan to further develop their soccer programs and aspire to compete at the highest level, thereby contributing to the growth and recognition of the sport within the country and on the international stage.
#6 Famous Athletes and Achievements
- Mohamed Abdelkarim: Widely regarded as Sudan’s best ever soccer player, he led the national team to victory in the 1973 African Cup of Nations, where he also won the tournament’s top-scorer award.
- Faisal Agab: A prolific striker who achieved significant success domestically with Al-Hilal and played a key role in Sudan’s national team during the early 2000s.
- Mohamed Ahmed Bashir: Known as ‘Bisha’, this talented striker has made a name for himself in Sudanese soccer and has represented the national team in various international competitions since 2007.
- Mudather El Tahir: An influential midfielder who contributed to the national team’s convincing performances in the 2012 African Cup of Nations, where Sudan reached the quarter-finals.
#7 Where to watch Soccer
- Sudanese TV Channels & International Broadcasters: Local channels like the Sudan National Broadcasting Corporation (SNBC) and international platforms like beIN SPORTS are known for broadcasting soccer events including domestic league matches, African club competitions, and major international tournaments.
- Live Streaming Services: Streaming platforms like beIN CONNECT, StarTimes ON, and SuperSport offer online access to live soccer matches and highlights.
- Live in Sudan: Visit popular stadiums like Khartoum Stadium (Khartoum), Al-Merrikh Stadium (Omdurman), or Al-Hilal Stadium (Omdurman) to experience the adrenaline and excitement of live soccer matches featuring Sudanese clubs or the national team.